Summary of passages: Matthew 13:9-17: Jesus tells his disciples that he uses parables to speak to the people because those who do not have him will lose everything and they have not the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven as the disciples do. Thus, those who have him, will be given more. Furthermore, the parables fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 6:9-10, which says those who do not hear nor see have a calloused heart and if they turned they would see and hear. But those that do hear and see the Truth are blessed because many who long to hear and see the Truth are unable.
Matthew 13:34-35: This quotes Psalm 78:2 how Jesus will speak in parables when he comes.
9a) First, Jesus tells his disciples that he uses parables to speak to the people because those who do not have him will lose everything and they have not the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven as the disciples do. Second, Jesus speaks in parables to fulfill prophecy.
b) Most had rejected Jesus and the parables are meant to conceal truth from those who do not see or hear. And these people who do not have will lose what has been given to them. They will see the parables as mere stories and will thus not turn more against God. In this way, God is merciful.
c) To those who are blessed with the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven more will be given to them and they will have an abundance (verse 11-12). They will understand more through the parables and will have a deeper relationship with God. They will be blessed (verse 16).
d) Part-personal question. Jesus said they are blessed by their knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven and they will be given an abundance. I lead a pretty blessed and abundant life. All of my needs are met (and many of my wants). I feel utterly humbled and privileged to be a part of God’s kingdom here on earth and I try to take that responsibility seriously every day of my life as I convey God’s greatness to those around me.
10) Both Mark and Luke say whoever has will be given more and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him. Mark says with the measure you use, more will be measured to you. Matthew is saying whoever understands God and Jesus and His kingdom will be blessed and receive more because of it. Whoever rejects Jesus and God and His kingdom will lose everything.
11a) People, although physically able to see and hear, were not spiritually able to see and hear the message for their hearts were hardened towards him and his message. Otherwise, if they heard, they would be healed. They were against him with no hope of salvation. So he had come for those who would hear and see him.
b) This describes those who are going through the motions only; who attend church with no real desire to be more like Jesus; who pretend to be God-like but their actions show they are not; whose heart is not God’s. The world and their experiences have hardened them to the word to the point they barely hear and see. God wants all of us and He wants to be first in our lives. Otherwise, we aren’t hearing nor seeing Him.
Conclusions: I guess this day answers my qualm’s with Day 2 but I still would prefer chronological or at least have us read the whole passage and then focus on small bits so we’d know Jesus’ reasons while answering the rest of the questions. I read the whole passage anyways and I prefer to have the whole picture instead of just snippets of Jesus. There’s so much we don’t know that I need to know what we do know.
Admittedly, I had to read commentaries to understand the intricacies of these passages. On the surface, it just appears as if Jesus tells cool stories. But there is so much more to the parables as we learned through these questions, which show God’s extreme love for us, his people, and his love for the unbelievers as well whom he shows both mercy to and whom he warns as well. God is such an awesome God!
Fun Fact: Matthew uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven” 32 times in his book.